Sleep apnea (more accurately, obstructive sleep apnea) is a condition that causes patients to stop breathing periodically in their sleep. Given that it’s marked by excessively loud snoring, you might be surprised that your best chance at finding a diagnosis, and treatment, is at your dentist’s office. However, snoring and sleep apnea are typically oral health issues, and as a dedicated general dentist, Dr. Young is highly experienced in helping patients stop snoring and treat sleep apnea.
More than You Know About Snoring
For many people, snoring is a simple annoyance; one that varies in severity and volume from patient to patient, and may be resolved when the snorer changes position in his/her sleep. Often, the noise is caused by large, over-relaxed oral tissues blocking the airway, which causes the walls of your throat to vibrate as you struggle to breathe. In certain cases, these tissues can be enough of a hindrance to block your breathing completely, throwing your brain and body into a slight panic until you start breathing again. Normally, the disturbance won’t bring you back to consciousness. Yet, it can happen often enough in a single night to deprive you of the deeper stages of sleep (known as REM sleep) that take time to reach.
How to Stop Snoring and Treat Sleep Apnea
The good news about snoring, and many cases of obstructive sleep apnea, is that they can frequently be treated with a minor examination and a custom-made dental appliance, provided by your general dentist. Similar to a sports mouthguard, a sleep appliance will help keep your jawbone and oral tissues in an open, comfortable position to avoid airway blockage. The sleep guard is also a more comfortable alternative to the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and mask that is often prescribed to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
ABOUT YOUR LAFAYETTE GENERAL DENTIST:
Michael J. Young, DDS, and his skilled team of dental care professionals happily serve patients and their families, living in Breaux Bridge, Broussard, Scott, Youngsville, and surrounding communities. To learn more, contact us today at our Lafayette dentist’s office at 337-237-6453.